April 7, 2017
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – On a windy and frigid night that favored the pitching, the Yellow Jackets and Fighting Irish played a tight contest throughout that saw the home team in the green caps escape with a 4-3 win over the White and Gold on Friday night in the ACC series opener in South Bend, Ind.
The loss drops GT to 16-12 overall and 4-9 in the ACC. ND moves to 11-17 overall and 5-8 in league play with the cross-divisional conference win.
Lead-off hitter Trevor Craport led the Jackets’ offensive attack on Friday, going 2-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Designated hitter Kel Johnson was 2-for-4 with an RBI single, while Joey Bart (1-for-5, RBI) and Chase Murray (0-for-3, RBI) combined to record the other two RBIs in the contest.
The Irish had four different players record one RBI apiece in the win. Cole Daily was 3-for-3 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored, while Kyle Fiala went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk, an RBI, one run and a stolen base in the three-hole for the Irish.
Both starters had quality starts, but did not factor in the decision.
Tech freshman Xzavion Curry pitched 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, two walks and two strikeouts, while ND’s starting hurler Brandon Bielak allowed two runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out seven in 6.0 innings.
The loss went to reliever Bailey Combs (0-1), as he allowed one run on three hits over 1.2 innings of work.
The tone of the game was set on the very first pitch, as Craport hit a fly ball to right field that the wind caused havoc on and dropped to the turf right next to the right fielder. The error showed that the wind would play a factor in the game all night long, as the teams combined to make six errors on the night.
Tech got on the scoreboard first in the top of the first, as Craport reached second to lead off the game with the error in right and then scored from second on an RBI single to right by Johnson to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Jackets doubled their lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Bart, as Craport again scored this time after reaching base on a walk, to push its lead to two at 2-0.
Notre Dame got one run back in the bottom of the fifth, as a two-out walk came back to sting the Jackets as the runner stole second and then scored on a single to right to cut the Tech lead to one at 2-1.
After the Jackets stranded a runner in the top of the sixth, the Irish used three straight base knocks, a double to right center and back-to-back singles, to tie the game up 2-2.
Following a walk and a pop up to short in the same inning, Fiala hit a single to left field to score one and put the home team on top at 3-2. On the RBI single, the Irish tried to score a second runner from second base on the hit only to have Murray throw a laser online to Bart at the plate to get the runner out at home and keep the Irish lead at one.
Georgia Tech tied the game up at 3-3 in the eighth on back-to-back singles up the middle by Coleman Poje and Kyle McCann with one out. After Austin Wilhite hustled down the line on an error by the first baseman to load the bases, Murray hit a sharp ground ball to second to score Poje from third on the fielder’s choice to knot the game at 3-3.
However, the Irish led off the bottom half of the inning with a lead-off triple to left center to put the go ahead run on third with no outs. A walk and an error loaded the bases for the Irish, who took advantage from the help from the Jackets and picked up an RBI single through the right side by Jake Johnson to score what would prove to be the winning run from third in the 4-3 victory.
In his first appearance as Jacket in his home state of Indiana, senior Zac Ryan gave up one hit and one walk, while also striking out one ND batter in 1.0 innings of relief work on the night.
The two teams combined to leave a total of 21 runners on base in the contest.
The Jackets (16-12, 4-9 ACC) and the Fighting Irish (11-17, 5-8 ACC) will play game two of the three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. ET.
* The loss was the Jackets’ first-ever loss when the game was played in the state of Indiana (0-1).
* Georgia Tech moves to 12-4 on the year when scoring first in the contest on the year.
* The Yellow Jackets fall to 7-4 on the season when scoring in the first inning.
* The Jackets are 2-8 on the year when getting outhit by its opponent for the game.
* Tech is now 1-8 on the season when making two or more errors for the contest.
* Trevor Craport has now hit safely in nine straight games as he a single in the third.
* Austin Wilhite extended his on-base streak to a new career-long 12 straight games on an error by the Irish in the fourth inning.
* Kel Johnson extended his current hitting streak to eight straight games with an RBI single in the first.
* Coleman Poje reached base for the seventh consecutive game with his single up the middle in the eighth.
* Kyle McCann reached base safely for the fifth straight game with a single in the fourth.